In Search Of Russia’s Lost Gold
Before World War I, Russia possessed the third-largest gold reserve in the world, bested only by the US and France. During the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks captured the entirety of Tsar Nicholas II’s family gold reserve – or so they thought.
The Dark History Of How Coffee Took Over The World
Four hundred years ago, Coffea arabica, a tropical shrub bearing glossy green leaves and bright-red berries, was virtually unknown outside of the Arab world and the corner of Ethiopia where it had been discovered in the ninth century.
What Will An Ice-Free Arctic Look Like?
Several years in the past decade have reached new lows for summer sea ice extent, raising questions about what will happen in this new Arctic as the ice declines and retreats. How will the ecosystem respond? Can treaties keep fishing in the central Arctic in check?
Living Off The Grid In Paradise
Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world’s most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day’s walk from the nearest road.
Arctic: New Frontier
Yuri Kozyrev and Kadir van Lohuizen travelled through 15,000km of the Arctic Circle, investigating the startling effects of climate change on the land and its indigenous communities. If temperatures continue to rise, scientists expect that the North Pole will be ice-free in summer by 2040.
Tourism Is Eating The World
The number of international tourist arrivals has been increasing more or less exponentially since the mid-20th century, and totaled about 1.4 billion in 2018. Europe has seen the biggest share, but the Asia-Pacific region is growing fast.
A Trans Judge Fights For India’s Disenfranchised
Swati Bidhan Baruah is Assam State’s first transgender judge, and the third in all of India In recent months, she’s been consumed with fighting the Supreme Court of India on behalf of at least 2,000 trans people who were left out in the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.
The Radioactive ‘Capital’ Of The World
Jachymov, a small uranium mining town in the northwest of the Czech Republic, has been key in the field of radioactivity research. More than a century ago, Marie and Pierre Curie based their revolutionary work on radioactivity on material brought from there.
On Harriet Tubman’s Final Escape Mission
There was one more dire mission to complete; she had to return to Maryland and try once again to rescue her sister Rachel and her two children, Angerine and Ben. With the exception of these three people, Harriet had pulled her entire immediate family that remained in Maryland away from slavery’s hold.
Why Socialism Failed in Africa
Considering capitalism to be equal to colonialism, Africa’s founding fathers rejected it and adopted marxist-socialism in the 1960s. Foreign companies were nationalised, state-owned enterprises were created and all sorts of controls on rents, prices, imports and foreign exchange.
Old Tech’s New Wave, Or Why We Still Love Faxes, Pagers And Cassettes
Once seen as cutting edge, many of yesterday’s gadgets are – surprisingly – still in use or are making a comeback. But why is it that we are turning to retro solutions more frequently?
The Collapsing Crime Rates Of The ’90s Might Have Been Driven By Cellphones
It’s practically an American pastime to blame cellphones for all sorts of societal problems, from distracted parents to faltering democracies. But the devices might have also delivered a social silver lining: a de-escalation of the gang turf wars that tore up cities in the 1980s.
‘We’re The Only Plane In The Sky’
Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. But for a tiny handful of people, those memories touch American presidential history. Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.
Hedy Lamarr Escaped The Nazis And Helped Build Self-Driving Future
She was once billed as “The World’s Most Beautiful Woman,” and that bored her. She wanted to fight Nazis, and to be taken seriously for her technical knowledge and creativity. She wanted control.
The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991
One of the most important events in the decline and fall of the USSR was the August Coup of 1991 which saw its Vice President attempt to overthrow its president, Mikhail Gorbachev. It didn’t go too well and was hastily planned but the fact that it ended peacefully is frankly nothing short of miraculous.
The Remote ‘Democratic’ Oasis Of Soviet Russia
The academic town of Akademgorodok in Siberia was created by Russian mathematician Mikhaïl Alekseïevitch Lavrentiev, who wanted to install a safe haven for scientists in the middle of Siberia. Such isolation from Moscow created a fertile scientific and cultural nest away from the influence of the State and its politics.
Behind The Chinese Internet Wall
What is happening on the other side of the barrier? There we find people who respond to state controls with creativity and spunk. While some spend their days trawling cat videos, others create oases of subversion within the reality that they’ve been dealt.
A United Kingdom: Bruce Davidson’s Portrait Of 1960s Britain
Photographer Bruce Davidson crossed the nation, visiting London, the south coast and Scotland to create a portrait of Britain as it was finally beginning to recover from the traumas of war and decades of austerity.
How One American Citizen Was Forcibly Drafted Into The South Korean Army
Illinois-born Young Chun thought a stint teaching English in Korea would be a quick and easy way to pay off his mounting post-college debt. He could not have been more wrong. Chun became a victim of a collision between unforgiving bureaucracy and the meddling of an unknown family member thousands of miles away.
Italy’s Crumbling Motorways: How The Genoa Bridge Collapse Exposed A National Scandal
The state of Italian motorways is a national scandal. There are about twenty badly-damaged motorway bridges in Italy currently under investigation. There are also 200 illegal tunnels, which don’t comply with European standards and 1,000 viaducts which haven’t been monitored for years.
Somewhere In Finland, A Village Dies While A River Continues To Thrive
In central Finland, there is a small village, Yli-li, nestled against a river called Iijoki that is succumbing to the realities of life, like so many other places. It is a place that captured the interest of Finnish photographer Janne Korkko, who took pictures of the village and the river.